We took the ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao which was an adventure. Being on a ferry in rough seas is like being on a thrilling rollercoaster ride. The downside is that this ride lasts 2 hours before you can climb off. Luckily we never had to use the ‘barf bags’ but others around us had to. Images of that vomit scene in problem child came to mind.
After we reached land safely, we had to navigate our way through hoards of taxi drivers clambering over each other to get to you and hopefully drive you to your destination. It was chaotic, and we had to push our way through everyone to get to our per-arranged pickup point. We had organised to stay on the secluded side of the island, at Hin Wong bay apartments.
We had a scary drive up and down some very steep roads, only accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicles, followed by a short steep hike to what felt like the middle of nowhere. We then arrived at Hin Wong bay self catering apartments, which was to be our home for the next week.
Hin Wong bay has only one road in and out, and no shops, or restaurants around. The accommodation is self catering, so it is important to either buy groceries before you arrive, or be prepared to take a taxi into town, or make the long walk through the jungle on foot. We did this twice, and stumbled upon a cashew nut tree. We had never seen a fresh cashew nut fruit on a tree before, and were intrigued to find out that each fruit only has one single cashew nut. The nut is on the outside of the fruit. Now we know why cashew nuts are so expensive!
Our apartment was awesome! We had an open plan apartment with a balcony that overlooked Hin Wong bay, which is where all the tour boats come during the day with snorkel tours.
Staying in Hin Wong bay meant we did not have to pay for tours, but instead just jumped straight into the water, which was like being inside a marine aquarium! We were so excited by the amount and variety of fishes that we saw, and the great thing was that we could snorkel all day, every day, for free in the best snorkel spot on the island 🙂
Almost every day for about half an hour, there was a sudden storm, and one of the days while snorkeling there was a storm. We were a bit nervous with there being lightning strikes in the distance, and really heavy rain all around us, but we were about 2km away from our accommodation so all we could do was tread water and wait it out. It was far warmer under the water, than out, as the rain was really cold and hard, so staying in the water was what we did. The whole experience was actually quite exhilarating.
Every day that we went snorkeling we found something new, or had a different memorable experience. We discovered a great reef about 2km from our accommodation, so every day we would swim there in the morning and again in the afternoon, to be with the corals and fish.
One of the days that we were going, we picked up a hitch hiker, in the form of a remora fish, that attached itself to us. These fish normally attach to other big animals like sharks and turtles, so this one was a little confused, so he must have mistaken us for one of them ha ha ha. Our remora friend stayed with us for ages, sucking onto our legs and arms and belly while we swam to the reef.
We enjoyed our amazing apartment, the view, and the awesome snorkeling location so much that we extended our stay a few days, before leaving to start our journey to Chiang Mai.